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Marking a major milestone in relations

Following the SG50 festivities, Singaporeans can look forward to this year's Japanese-themed SJ50 celebrations.

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Celebratory events include MOSH! (above) which showcases state-of-the-art Japanese multimedia technology and a taiko drumming performance.
BT_20160426_FKMILESTONE2_2242876.jpg
Celebratory events include MOSH! which showcases state-of-the-art Japanese multimedia technology and a taiko drumming performance (above).

A WHOLE series of events has been scheduled to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan, which falls on April 26, 2016.

The work began in January 2015, when organisations including the Embassy of Japan, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce Industry Singapore, the Japanese Cultural Society and the Japanese University Graduates Association of Singapore established the Executive Committee of the 50th Anniversary of Singapore-Japan Diplomatic Relations to help plan and promote events to celebrate the anniversary, which has been dubbed SJ50.

The committee allows organisers whose event is in line with the celebration of the anniversary, to use the SJ50 logo. Currently, there are 64 activities accredited as SJ50 events. Among these is a Japanese Tea Dedication and Tea Sharing in prayer for Singapore-Japan Friendship and World Peace jointly organised by the Japan Creative Centre, Chado Urasenke and the Asian Civilisations Museum.

Another recently SJ50-certified event is the SJ50 Matsuri, organised by the SJ50 Matsuri Steering Committee, which will be held on Oct 29 and 30, 2016. This event will showcase Japanese traditional culture, pop culture and products. The Embassy of Japan in Singapore has also invited a group of Omatsuri performers to the event. "The event will bring about great personal exchanges between Japanese and Singaporeans," said Japan's ambassador-designate to Singapore Kenji Shinoda.

Meanwhile, the start of 2016 saw a major Singapore-Japan collaboration open on Sentosa to coincide with the SJ50 celebrations. A new digital media playground called MOSH! that showcases state-of-the-art Japanese multimedia technology to create an interactive virtual environment opened its doors in February.

The attraction features five different stations, themed land, air, sea, space and fantasy. Visitors can create objects related to the respective themes using gesture recognition and motion design technology. For example, those at the sea station will be able to create unique aquatic creatures, while those at the air station can try launching a jumbo jet from their hands.

Several Japanese partners - including digital technology development firm Coconoe and creative agency 1?10 - are behind the development, which cost almost US$1.8 million.

MOSH! is "an apt cultural exchange as we bring the Japanese unique brand of creativity to Singapore", said Hitomi Komuro, director of Creative Future Park, and head of the MOSH! project.


A Calendar of SJ50 events

APRIL

  • The Way of Tea: Tea Culture of Singapore and Japan Exhibition at Japan Creative Centre (JCC)
  • Tea Ceremony by Grand Master, Genshitsu Sen of URASENKE at Istana and Asian Civilization Museum

MAY

  • Super Japan: Japanese Festival of Arts at Esplanade
  • Japan Night at Asian Festival of Arts at National Library and Resorts World Sentosa

JUNE

  • Japan's Local Charm Event at JCC

JULY

  • Japanese Speech Contest at Japanese Association, Singapore
  • C3 CharaExpo 2016 at Singapore Expo
  • Mizuno Ekiden at the promontory @ Marina bay
  • Japanese Film Festival 2016 by Japan Foundation at National Museum of Singapore (July or September)

AUGUST

  • Richard Sandaime in Singapore at Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA)
  • Summer Festival by Japanese Association Singapore at Japanese Primary School Changi Campus

SEPTEMBER

  • A Singapore-Japan Student Cultural Exchange event co-organised by the Japanese University Graduates Association of Singapore (JUGAS) and the Marine Parade Community Club, People's Association
  • Exhibition: Japanese Design Today 100 by Japan Foundation at NAFA

OCTOBER

  • SJ50 Celebration Japanese Cultural Festival at Capitol Theatre by The Japanese Cultural Society Singapore (JCS)
  • Oishii Japan 2016 at SANTEC
  • Japan Travel Fair at Singapore Takashimaya
  • SJ 50 Matsuri at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza

NOVEMBER

  • Singapore Writers' Festival
  • Open House of the Japanese Association, Singapore
  • Visit by Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program

DECEMBER

  • One Asia Joint Concert at Esplanade

YEAR-ROUND

  • JNTO Singapore: Promoting Japan Tourism in Singapore
  • Japan Travel Fair by JNTO Singapore
  • Symbolic SJ50 Mega Flower Exhibit by Shogo Kariyazaki at Changi Airport Terminal 2 & 3 by JNTO Singapore (March 10 - April 10, 2016)

For e-version, go to www.sphcountryspecial.sg